Royal Mail Removes Controversial Fine for Using Fake Stamps

A rise in consumers getting a £5 penalty due to assertions that the stamps were fakes followed Royal Mail’s decision to use exclusively barcoded stamps, which has been the subject of heavy criticism in recent months.

According to Royal Mail, mailing letters with ‘fake’ stamps will no longer be penalized.

An ‘industrial scale’ import of counterfeit stamps from China into the United Kingdom was exposed earlier this month.

It is known that tiny shops are buying convincing duplicates, which cost 4p a piece.

Border Force said it would confiscate products and collaborate with police to stop criminal groups from smuggling stamps into the UK.

The Postal Service will stop charging £5 to recover mail issued with stamps determined to be counterfeit until July at the earliest, during which time it will create a smartphone app to identify forgeries.

Users can verify the authenticity of stamps by scanning their barcodes using the app.

According to experts, this would not help the elderly, who rely on the mail to pay bills and deposit checks.

According to Royal Mail, the number of counterfeit stamps has decreased by almost 90% since barcodes were introduced in February 2022.

When attempting to identify fake stamps, Royal Mail suggests looking for irregular borders and missing security. Also, be careful of stamps that seem excessively polished, have too vibrant colors, or are sold at prices below market value. People should be wary about buying stamp sheets in amounts lower than 25, 50, or 100, as they might be counterfeit.

Claims that Royal Mail was punishing the public for its technological inadequacy led to the suspension of penalties for mail containing stamps it considered fraudulent.

Skeptics have pointed out parallels to the Horizon crisis, in which hundreds of post office personnel were implicated in fraud due to accounting software flaws. Even though it claims its system is “robust,” Royal Mail blamed consumers who purchase cheap stamps online.

Any mail with questionable postage will now be returned to the sender, maybe with an additional fee. Before now, the burden of proof in the event of a suspected fraudulently transmitted letter has been on the receivers.